We wanted to share a bit about our favorite Shopify App - Google Analytics! It can be really intimidating the first time you login, so we put this guide together to tell you about the only two reports you need to know when starting out - and how you can use them to diagnose any ecommerce challenge!
Install Google Tag Manager
If you don’t have google analytics installed, follow the official Shopify installation instructions to set up GTM! While the Shopify instructions are great, they are missing one very important page: the Checkout Thank You page. In order to allow your tags to work on that page, please insert both GTM snippets mentioned in the instructions into the Additional scripts box under Order processing. You can get to the Additional scripts box by navigating to Admin Panel → Settings (bottom left corner of the screen) → Checkout → Additional scripts.
The Two Reports you Need to Know
Acquisition - Overview
By far the most important report in Google Analytics is the “Acquisition - Overview” report because it allows you to see where your traffic is coming from, and two key facts about that traffic - the conversion rate and page views per session.
You should use this report to figure out:
What channels are most effective for driving traffic to your store
Whether or not that traffic is behaving in a way that will lead to sales
In general, a browser will view 6-8 products before making a purchase. If you’re seeing bounce rates above 30%, or page views per session under 2 pages from a specific traffic source, you need to think about ways to keep your visitors longer.
Typical strategies include:
Creating unique landing pages for different marketing campaigns
Giving visitors a clear CTA on that landing page
Making sure visitors have access to your full navigation so they can browse other collections from the landing page
Increasing the number of products in a collection
Behavior - Site Content - All Pages
Once you know where your traffic is coming from, you want to start figuring out what pages are most frequently browsed on your site, so you can start optimizing them for conversion. And the “Behavior - Site Content - All Pages” report lets you do just that.
There are a few key things you want to identify:
Which collections are users browsing most often? This gives you a sense of what types of products your visitors are looking for and where you should be investing your time.
Do you have any key products that aren’t getting page views? It could be because they’re in a collection that isn’t browsed frequently. It may be time to merchandise your site.
Are there any products that convert particularly well? How can you add them to other collections to get more page views?
You’ll often see your homepage as one of the most viewed pages on your site, but don’t ignore “page types” - i.e. if 10 different collection pages are in your top 20 pages visited, that means your visitors are spending a ton of time interacting with your collections - is your theme’s collection template holding you back?
Isn’t there more to it?
No matter what stage your at with your store, if you understand how your generating traffic and what your visitors are browsing on your site, you’ll always have ideas for improving your store’s performance.
For example, if you’re doing a lot of promotion of your site on instagram, but it’s not generating traffic, you’ll know that you need to adjust your instagram strategy.
Similarly, if you have a heavily followed facebook pages that’s driving lots of traffic, but relatively few page views on your site, you’ll know you need to improve your visitor’s browsing experience.